Nothing makes your favorite tunes sound better than an amazing stereo system. The pounding bass, powerful guitars, and gorgeous vocals that you can get out of it can really take your music to the next level. In this article, we’ll take you through all the best bookshelf stereo systems on the market today, so that you can get incredible sound at home.
Bookshelf stereos manage to squeeze all the great parts of a Hi-Fi system into a package that is small enough to fit anywhere in a room. They’re lightweight, portable, and crammed with features to make your listening experience heavenly.
However, there is a lot of choice when it comes to deciding on your next Hi-Fi system purchase. Hopefully, this article will help you work out exactly what you want so you can go out and buy the perfect bookshelf stereo.
The Best Bookshelf Stereos of 2020
There really are loads of options when it comes to buying a new stereo, and the amount of choice can get pretty overwhelming. Therefore, we’ve picked out twelve of our absolute favorite bookshelf stereos for you to feast your eyes on.
Every one of them has incredible sound quality, great features, and a compact size to fit onto any bookshelf. Read on to discover your favorite now.
The first product on our list of the best bookshelf stereo systems is this all-in-one model from Sony. Sony are known around the world for their exceptional electronic products, and this sound system is no exception.
This stereo system has Bluetooth connectivity to wirelessly connect your music playing devices. If Bluetooth isn’t your thing then you can also connect via a 3.5mm AUX cord or even use the built-in CD player!
The speakers offer an impressive 50W of power, which is more than enough to fill a large room. This amount of power probably means you don’t need a subwoofer system to get those heavy bass tones.
- Good sound that is powerful and loud
- Plenty of ways to play music
- Only one color available
For everyone out there who loves that classic retro look, this bookshelf stereo from TechPlay is definitely a great option. The design is based on the super-cool CD player and radio systems that were built into old cars. In fact, the system has a built-in FM/AM radio if you like listening to tunes that way.
This is one of the best stereos out there if you like to move your music from room to room. It is very portable and is lightweight enough to carry around. This kind of portability is pretty rare from a bookshelf stereo so to have it here is pretty impressive.
- Very portable
- Built-in FM radio
- Retro styling might not be for everyone
Bose are one of the most respected brands out there when it comes to speakers and audio equipment. This means you already know that this music system is going to sound amazing. The stereo is powerful enough to fill a large room whilst maintaining excellent audio fidelity.
Aside from the incredible sound quality, the Bose Wave has some great features that make it one of the best bookshelf stereo systems around. It has a built-in CD player, AM/FM radio, alarm clock, and large display screen. All of this combines to make the wave an excellent multimedia center for your lounge.
- Amazing Bose speaker system
- Lots of functions
- Quite pricey
Our next recommendation if you’re looking for the best bookshelf stereo system is this model from Sharp. This speaker system is made for those who love to crank their music and hear it at its best. The two large speakers provide excellent sound quality and 5 CD player lets you have plenty of music ready to go.
The included remote control is also easy to use and means you can kick back on the sofa whilst you control your music. If you don’t use CDs anymore, then you can connect up a device via Bluetooth, or load up some MP3s on a memory stick.
- Remote control is a nice addition
- The instruction manual isn’t very clear
Innovative Technology has recently come onto the scene with their affordable stereos that have been giving much more expensive options a run for their money. This particular sound system features two large speakers either side of the main console.
The system offers an impressive 20 watts of power which is more than enough to fill a large room with your favorite tunes and the vintage-style VU meters will let you know how hard you’re pumping the music. This sound system also comes with a remote control, which is always nice.
- Powerful bookshelf speaker
- Remote control included
- Popular so sells out often
Here we have another option from Bose. This mini home stereo system brings extremely impressive sound and volume in a small package. This means you can fill practically any sized room with wall to wall music, all from a single speaker.
This speaker embraces all the modern technology and is Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Google Assistant compatible. This gives you loads of different ways to play your music and you can get direct access to your Spotify and Apple Music playlists.
This speaker is definitely a good option if Bluetooth and wireless playback is the number one thing on your wishlist.
- Good sound and frequency response
- Bluetooth streaming
- A bit pricey
This Sharp shelf speaker system is another all-in-one solution that is pxcked with features. It has Bluetooth support, 3.5mm input, RCA connections, FM radio, and a CD player if you like to keep it old school. You can switch between any of these modes using the included remote control.
The stereo speakers themselves have an impressive output of 50 watts, which will make your walls shake if you crank it to the max. Sharp don’t just rely on volume though – the bass response is excellent and the overall tone is warm and pleasing.
- 2 way bass reflex sounds great
- FM radio built-in
- Only one color option
This home music system from Onkyo is yet another fantastic Hi-Fi component microsystem for anyone who’s looking for great sound from a compact package. This shelf speaker system really does sound great and you get an almost surround sound like experience when you turn up the volume.
This audio system is best when you use the Bluetooth connection feature but you can also play CDs or listen to the AM/FM radio. You can also plug in a TV or record player via the easy to use analog audio input.
- USB port
- High audio quality
- Instructions aren’t the best
Our next recommendation on this search for the best bookshelf radio is the Black Series from Jensen. This retro looking audio system really is one stylish micro music center. The large volume control is used to navigate the menus and it is very easy to use and intuitive.
The good looks are balanced with good sound quality that has impressive tones across all frequency ranges. The FM radio and CD player are also great alternatives to the Bluetooth connection option.
- Bluetooth streaming works seamlessly
- High quality sound
- Retro looks might not be for everyone
Yamaha are yet another company who are known around the world for their amazing sound systems and musical instruments. This particular mini shelf speaker system is a classic bookshelf design but with a stylish diagonal slant on the speakers.
You can connect up to the audio system via Bluetooth and AUX input, or make use of the CD player and FM radio. This mini system also features a USB port that you can charge your phone through whilst playing your music.
- Built-in FM radio
- USB port
- Could be too small for huge rooms
This Magnavox mini shelf speaker system has a super cool futuristic design. The two large speakers put out around 30 watts of power, which is more than enough volume to fill a big room. The main console in the center has loads of buttons on and is packed with features.
Music can be played back from a CD, FM radio or via Bluetooth streaming. You also have the option to tune the sound just how you like it. If you love bass you can crank up those deep tones and get the room bouncing! The system has good sound quality overall that makes any type of music sound fantastic.
- High quality components
- Amazing bass response
- Some people won’t use every feature
The final option on our list is perhaps the most stylish stereo shelf system out there. Each component has a lovely wooden finish that would look great in anyone’s living room. The system comes with a subwoofer, which means you can rely on it having excellent frequency response, especially in the bass ranges.
This living room shelf system can be controlled via the remote control, from which you can switch between AUX, optical, and Bluetooth streaming. This is a also great bookshelf speaker to hook up to your TV system, thanks to the included RCA inputs.
- Subwoofer included
- Good sound quality across all frequencies
- Quite pricey
Buyers Guide: Considerations when buying a Bookshelf Stereo
When you start looking into buying a bookshelf stereo system, you quickly begin to realize just how many options you have to choose from. Although it’s great to have plenty of choices, it can all get a bit overwhelming. To stop this from happening, it’s best to work out exactly what you need from a stereo before you start looking.
This short buyer’s guide will hopefully help you to do this. We go through all the considerations you should be making when it comes to buying a new bookshelf stereo and the cool features you should be looking out for.
We’d recommend going through each of the categories we discuss and deciding what you want to prioritize in each one. Then, try and find a product that has the features that you’ve decided you need. You probably won’t be able to find a stereo with absolutely everything you want on it, but you’ll probably get pretty close.
When you’re buying a product to playback music, you want to make sure it sounds good. Getting a new stereo should give all your favorite songs a new lease of life and let you fall in love with them all over again. There is no point buying a stereo system if the sound quality isn’t going to be up to scratch.
There are a few factors that determine the sound quality of a stereo. Firstly, you need to make sure it is going to be loud enough for your room.
Just having a loudspeaker won’t necessarily make your music sound better, but having one that is too quiet will definitely make it sound worse. Speaker loudness is usually measured in watts, so definitely look into that before deciding.
Another contributor to high sound quality is audio fidelity. This is how crisp and clear the music is and how well you can hear each part of the sound. You want the bass to be punchy and low, and the treble to come through the mix without being harsh.
A well-balanced speaker system is pretty easy to spot as soon as you hear it. If you get a chance, try and listen to a stereo system before you buy it online. If you can’t do this then check out some customer or expert reviews.
Speaker placement is pretty closely related to sound quality since it can make or break how good a system is going to sound. The best kind of stereo system to look out for is the type that has two separate speakers. These are usually placed on either side of the main system and usually offer the most impressive sound.
These speakers sound better because you can listen to your music in stereo (where you have two separate audio channels coming through each speaker) and you can point the speakers directly towards the listener. Speakers are very directional and if they aren’t pointing to the right area then they are not going to sound great.
However, if portability is a concern for you, then a system that is made up of two speakers and a control unit isn’t going to be that practical. In this case, you’ll ideally want something that comes in one package. Just think about how often you’re going to have to move the system and go from there.
One thing a lot of people forget to think about when they’re buying a new stereo system is its size. There’s nothing worse than getting some new speakers home only to realize they don’t fit on the shelf you want them on. Make sure to measure the space and check that any product is small enough to fit there before you buy.
Unfortunately, bigger stereo systems do bring some advantages. Usually, they can go louder than a smaller system and they often have better bass tones. This isn’t always the case though, and the very best bookshelf stereo systems will be able to achieve a small size with impressive features and volume.
For many people, the most common way that they’re going to connect to a speaker system is via Bluetooth. Bluetooth allows you to link up a speaker with your cell phone or tablet and playback music into the room. Most modern bookshelf stereo systems will have Bluetooth built-in, but some might rely on more traditional methods.
For example, you might have to connect a music device to the speaker using a 3.5mm AUX cord. This is another easy way to play music and nearly all bookshelf stereo systems will have this feature. Even systems that have Bluetooth connectivity will almost always have an AUX input option.
Some stereos may even have a USB slot as an input option. This allows you to insert a thumbstick and play music back from that. You can also plug your phone into a stereo via USB if you don’t have an AUX cord to hand.
Although CDs and physical media are way less popular than they used to be, a lot of people actually still rely on them to listen to their favorite music. If this is you, then you definitely want to be looking for a bookshelf stereo system that has a CD player included.
Not many stereo systems actually come with CD players anymore so this will narrow down your search massively and actually make buying a bookshelf stereo system much easier. The very best Hi-Fi CD players will let you load in multiple discs at the same time and switch between them as you please.
Some people might even require a cassette deck on their stereo system. Cassette decks are even rarer than CD players and it might be quite difficult to find a stereo system that has one. They definitely do exist though so it’s worth shopping around if you still enjoy playing cassettes.
When you’re deciding between two very similar products, it is almost always going to be those extra features that are going to make your mind up. Extra features help a stereo system stand out from the crowd and catch your attention. These features could be things like a remote control, attractive looks, or being able to connect up your TV to the speakers.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you can’t decide between two bookshelf stereo systems, be sure to investigate the extra functions they offer. It’s pretty likely that one of them will have better extra features than the offer.
The final, and possibly most important, consideration you should be making is the budget you are working with. Knowing how much you have available to spend on a product can really help you narrow down your search to just what you can afford. There’s no point spending loads of time looking at expensive setups if you’re not going to be able to afford them.
Luckily for us, there are excellent stereo systems available at every kind of price point. Of course, the more expensive ones will probably have more features, but you can really get a fantastic system without breaking the bank. Thinking about your budget is always the best first step when you’re buying any product.
What is the best mini stereo system?
Since there are so many fantastic mini Hi-Fi systems on the market at the moment, it’s pretty hard to say which one is the absolute best. Furthermore, a stereo system that is ideal for one person might not suit another person at all. This is why it’s always important to prioritize the features that mean the most to you when buying a new system.
Having said all that, all the bookshelf stereo systems on our list are excellent choices that are great buys if you’re after a high-quality and reasonably priced system.
What are the best features for a bookshelf radio?
Although the best features will vary for every buyer, there are a few things you should always look out for and consider when looking for a great bookshelf radio. The first is the size of the system. If you’re going to be placing the system on a bookshelf, then you need to make sure that the space is large enough to accommodate it. Check that the shelf is deeper than the system, and also that there is enough space above the shelf to fit the speakers in.
Another important thing to consider is connectivity. Everyone likes playing their music in different ways so you have to make sure that you’ll be able to input your favorite songs however you want to. For example, if you like to connect wirelessly to a speaker and be able to walk around with your phone, then go for a system that has Bluetooth. If you still play CDs every day, then make sure the system has a great CD player.
Do I need a subwoofer?
If you’re a bass lover, then a subwoofer is definitely going to improve the sound quality of your music. The bookshelf speakers alone just can’t achieve the same depth and power as a subwoofer so if you really want to feel that bass then a subwoofer is going to be a great purchase.
However, bookshelf speakers still often have great bass tones so a subwoofer really isn’t essential. Furthermore, subwoofers are usually quite large and have to be placed on the floor below the bookshelf system. This means you have to find even more space to fit everything in.
Overall, if you love bass and have space, you’re probably going to get a lot out of a subwoofer. If you prefer a balanced tone and don’t want extra clutter, you’ll be absolutely fine without one.